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Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport

12:00 Apr 15 2012 Ben Gurion AIrport, Israel

Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport Israeli Police: 41 denied entry, 4 Israelis detained at airport
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JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that 41 people had been refused entry at Ben Gurion airport by early afternoon Sunday, and they would be deported.

Four Israeli supporters, two holding "Welcome to Palestine" signs, were also arrested as they waited to greet the arrivals.

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By Jack Khoury and Yaniv Kubovich for Haaretz


Pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activist: Israel and Europe treated us like terrorists

Two protesters, of French and Italian citizenship, succeed in making it past Israeli security and into Bethlehem; 43 activists denied entry into Israel at Ben-Gurion Airport.


Two pro-Palestinian activists that took part in the fly-in protest to Israel succeeded in making it past security at Ben-Gurion Airport and arrived in Bethlehem on Sunday, saying they were "treated like terrorists."

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The two female protesters, who hold French and Italian citizenship, held a press conference upon arrival in Bethlehem and recounted their experience.

Israel Police said Sunday that 43 activists were denied entry at Ben-Gurion Airport – 31 were transferred to Givon detention center and 12 were deported to their country of origin. Nine leftist activists who protested at the airport were also held for investigation.

One of the two activists who arrived in Bethlehem, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, told Haaretz that she arrived at the Leon airport in France with a group of 50 activists. Half of them were unable to board the plane after being blocked by French police, and the others, who succeeded in landing in Israel, were held and are expected to be deported.

"The security forces in France and Israel treated us like criminals," she said. "It is very frustrating and surprising that French authorities cooperated with Israel's claims and propaganda."

She said the airports in Leon and in Israel looked like military bases. "They treated us like criminals or terrorists, despite the fact that we made it clear that we came for peaceful purposes."

The activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she was very happy that she made it past Israeli security. "I plan on staying here for a week and take part in activism for the Palestinian people," she said. "I want to meet with as many people as I can and hear from them about what is going on, as well as take part in building an international school in Bethlehem." She added that she believes the French people support the Palestinians and their struggle for independence, and said that the actions by the French security forces in stopping the activists does not reflect French public opinion.
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